Sen. Mike Lee told Chuck Todd on Sunday’s Meet the Press that addressing climate change will actually hurt the U.S. economy. That’s a direct contradiction of what his own government has found, a conclusion based on scientific data and careful research: that worsening climate change will in fact cost the country a fortune.
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) November 25, 2018
In fact, climate change poses a potentially catastrophic threat to the economy. The government report, made public Friday, determined that climate change is likely to cost the country hundreds of billions of dollars annually, or as much as 10 percent of the GDP by the end of the century.
The president, who does not understand the difference between weather and climate, believes that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China to trick the country into weakening our own economy. The Trump administration apparently released the report early, on Black Friday — a day when Americans are more likely shopping or spending time with family than catching up on news — to try to bury its findings.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) denies the timing was politically motivated, but it’s hard to avoid the fact that the report directly contradicts the president’s ridiculous personal views and his administration’s agenda of deregulation and support for the petrochemical industry.
Climate change will cause ecological collapse, wildfires, mass drought, crop failures, and catastrophic storms, all of which that could bring the country’s economy to a virtual standstill.
The U.S. is seeing some of these effects now: the California wildfires, Florida’s red tide, outbreaks of zika and other insect-borne diseases, and the devastating hurricane season are all, in whole or part, the result of climate change. Flooding and sea-level rise are already threatening coastal cities. Extreme heat kills hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people every year. Even asthma and allergies are worsened by climate change, which alters the severity of pollen and increases airborne pollutants like smoke from wildfires.
Sen. Mike Lee is either unwilling or unable to see how these events would negatively impact the economy.